Norse Vikings predated Columbus exploring North America – Smoking gun part 3

Smoking gun part 3
The Norwegian King’s men

1319 Magnus Eriksson, son of the Swedish Duke Erik killed in ”Nyköpings gästabud” and the Norwegian princess Ingeborg, inherited the thrones of Sweden and Norway. Sweden at that time was much larger than today. King Magnus great-grandfather Birger Jarl had lost the Tax-Rights for more than 80 merchandise-towns in today’s Russia, but Birger Jarl had conquered the Tavasts in Tavesteland Finland and thus most of Finland as well as Sveaborg close to Neva River belonged to Sweden.

Norway was one of the larger countries in Europe from Viking Age on to the end of Kalmarunionen’s final annulment in 1521. In 1253 Pope Innocentius IV decided that the Archbishop of Nidaros and Kardinal Nicolaus of Alba would be the Catholic leaders for Oslo, Hammer, Bergen, Stavanger, Orkney, Iceland and Greenland bishops. After hard negotiations between the Pope and the Norwegian King, Norway in 1274 had the sole sovereignty over Greenland, Shetland Islands, Faeroe Islands as well as the Norwegian land in the Universe’s outer most distant areas. Not mentioned, but certainly not forgotten, is Orkney Islands where Earl Sinclair, a distant relative to Scandinavian Royal Families, swore the oath to the Norwegian King.

King Magnus Eriksson was a minor when he inherited Sweden and Norway. In Norway same Paul Knutson, later known as Lawman of Gula Thing, looked after his and his mother’s interests. This might be the reason why we do have a lot of documentation for Paul Knutson, including a smoking gun for him participating with Ivar Bardson (see below) sailing for the Noregian King to Greenland to look for the missing settlers of Western Settlement.

From 1325 to 1340 the Catholic Church had increased it’s property in Greenland. Not only had the monastery in Western Settlement inherited land and farms, they had also ”taken” percentage of farms instead of fur, walrus bone and cod-fish for the tithes payment.

By 1340, nearly all of the Western Settlement’s 190 farms had been expropriated by the Church and Monestries. The once free and independent Greenlanders were reduced to the status of serfs and tenant farmers on their own former owned farms.

The King intended to stress the Norwegian King’s Rights to 10% tax for all goods collected in Greenland sold to Europe. This together with the new registration of churches under King Magnus Eriksson’s rule which was underway in 1341 changed the life for ever especially in the Western Settlement. Same year 8th August 1341 Bishop Haakon of Bergen writes a Passport for Ivar Bardsson, priest in Bergen’s Diocese. Ivar Bardsson is about to sail to Greenland as a representative for Bergen’s diocese which have been given the commission to collect the tithes from the inhabitants of Greenland. (Diplomatarium Norvegivum bind 5 nr 152)

This changed life for the Greenlanders. First 10 % to the church than 10% of they trade-goods to the Crown of Norway, who’s representative was the Commissioner stationed at the home of the Bishop of Gardar. The King of Norway also had the rights to collect tax for what was growing on land owned by farms in Greenland. As late as during the Kalmar Union days it’s noted that Queen Margaretha I had hard cheese delivered to her ”fatabur” (Royal household) But during Magnus Eriksson’s day as Norwegian ruler, in other words when he was King of Norway as well as when his son Hakon had been elected King of Norway with Magnus as a Guardian, it’s noted that Garfalcons, white headed eagles, ivory and exclusive furs were sent from Greenland via Bergen or Orkney Islands reloaded to sail via Sveaborg (close to Russian river Nova) as far as to the Emper of China.

The trade between Iceland and Norway were increasing. In 1342 6 Norwegian trading ships arrives in Iceland. Nota bene it’s the King of Norway who directly or via his representatives in Bergen and Orkney have the rights for this trade. Apart from the normal taxation of the Greenlanders, Norwegian King also had the rights to tax all trade. The King took as mentioned above 10% of the profit.

Ivar Bardson/Bardarson was the Intendent for the Bishop of Gardar during several years. In 1342 Ivar Bardson visits the Western Settlement. If it Ivar Bardson’s brother [IEJ: not confirmed to be a brother of birth, but they share the name Bardson/Bardarsson and are said to be from same farm] hadn’t studied religion to become a priest together with a Pope to be, than we might not have heard so much about Ivar Bardson. But now we have several documents among them Papal letters dealing with information re. Ivar Bardson.

We don’t know for sure if it was during this first visit to the Western Settlement or a second one in 1342/43 Ivar Bardson wrote his report. The report that he left gives an impress that the Western Settlement decided en masse to clear out for parts unknown. ”The inhabitants of Greenland fell voluntarily away from the true faith and the Christian religion, and after having given up all the good manners and true virtues, turned to the people of America (‘ad Americae populos se converteunt’ ) Some say that Greenland lies away near the western lands of the world.”

What we do know is that the Icelandic Annals for 1342, copied from the original parchment in 1637 by Bishop Isle Odds, reporta that there was a quarrel going on between the Papal Church and the Western Settlers might be confirmed by a note that ”The inhabitants of Greenland voluntarily left the Christian faith and turned to the American people”. (Icelandic Annal 1342)

We don’t know for sure if Ivar Bardson returned to Bergen in late 1343 or early 1344. What we do know is that in 1344 6 Norwegian trading ships sailed for Iceland and Thord Eigilsson sailed to Greenland for the King and returned with the Knarr filled with a rich cargo. By that time At that time Ivar Bardsson had returned to Bergen.
That we know because in a Papal letter written 18th March 1344 Pope Clemens VI who had received a request from Ivar Bardsson to be appointed for a guest-appointment as Priest in Bergen’s Diocese take special precaution in helping Ivar Bardson.
The Pope wrote:
Supplicat sanctitati vestre Juarus Barderi presbiter Bergensis diocesis nullum beneficium ecclesiasticum assecutus quatinus sibi specialem gratiam facientes de aliquo beneficio ecclesiastico cum cura uel sine cura spectante ad collationem prouisionem seu quamuis aliam disposicionem episcopi Bergensis si quod in ciuitate uel diocesi Bergensibus vacat ad presens uel quam primum vacauerit eidem de benignitate sedis apostolice dignemini prouidere cum acceptatione inhibitione
decreto et clausula anteferri et cum omnibus alijs non obstantibus et clausulis oportunis ac executoribus deputatis ut in forma Fiat ad marcas uel florenos uel libras sicut asueuit fieri in can- cellaria in illa diocesi quam alias non audiuimus nominari ad summam paulo maiorem quam in forma communi. R – Et quod transeat sine alia leccione. – Fiat. ………”

Source: (Diplomatarium Norvegicum bind 6 nr 171, after original reg. in Reg. suppl. Clem. VI. an. II. p. 2. fol. 161 vs)

A few years later Ivar Bardson returned to Gardar and once again in the late 1940’s, he visited Sandnes, the same farm in Western Settlement as he had done once before. This time he found the farm abandoned by humans. While looking around he found a few animals, intact farms but no trace of violence nor any Greenlanders neither living nor dead. The information Ivar Bardson gives doesn’t correspond with the dating of Icelandic Annals.

The news from 1342 about the Greenlanders abandoning the Catholic Church had from Bergen reached the Pope as well as King Magnus Eriksson. King Magnus was married to Bianca of Namur in Flandern, born in a family with as close and long relations to the Papal Church. The marriage between King Magnus and Bianca of Namur had been intended to be a political marriage. Instead the two Royalty actually fell in love of each other. St Birgitta didn’t think it right that a man and a woman actually should enjoy the physical act. Due to this fact she tried to encourage King Magnus to go on Crusades. Later on she spread the rumor that the King only was interested in men.

First Crusade of King Magnus Eriksson was towards the Finns who at this time grow closer to the Orthodox Church. When the Pope wrote a letter demanding that the Archbishops to make certain that the right, I.o.W. Papal Church, Christianity was spread to the out most distant places in the Seed’s area , St. Birgitta encouraged King Magnus to borrow enough money of the Catholic Church for those crusades.

3rd November 1354 King Magnus chose Paul Knutsson the Gula Ting’s Lawman and former Queen’s (Magnus’ mother) depute for a mission to go to Greenland on King Magnus behalf
”Kong Magnus utnevner Pål Knutsson til høvedsmann på knarren, som
skal seile til Grønland, og gir ham fullmakt til å velge seg mannskap.”
Source: Diplomatarium Norvegicum bind 21 nr 83

There was a Royal boat leaving for Greenland in 1355 But it’s doubtful that that was the boat of Paul Knutsson’s. It’s more likely that the Royal Commissioner Paul Knutsson was on a boat that left Bergen in 1358 shortly after the arrival of a representative for the Catholic Church. That would be more logical.

What we do know is that it’s documented that the Lawman at that time visiting Gardar called upon Ivar Bardarson to go looking for the missing settlers of Western Settlement:
”Jtem dette alt som forsagt er, sagde oss Jffuer *Baardtsen Grønlænder, som war forstander paa biskobs garden, i Gardum paa grønnland udi mange aar, att hand haffde alt dette seett och hand war en aff dennem som war wdneffender aff Lagmanden at fare till westerbijgden emod de skrelinge att wddriffue de skrellinge, wdaff westerbijgd, och da de komme didt da funde de ingen mand, endten Christenn eller heden wden noget willdt fæ och faaer, och bespissede sig aff det willtt fæ, och *toge saa meget som skiuene kunde berre och zeijlede saa der med hiemb och for(schreffne) Jffer war der med.”

English translation:
”All this that has been said here was told to us by Ívar Bárðarson, a Greenlander, who was steward of the Bishop’s estate at Garðar in Greenland for many years, that he had seen all these things, and that he had been one of those who had been chosen by the Lawman to go to the Western Settlement against the Skrælings (i.e. Esquimaux) in order to drive them out of the Western Settlement, and that when they got there they found no-one, neither Christian nor heathen, only some wild cattle and sheep, and they ate some of the wild cattle and took as much as the ships could carry and sailed back home with it, and the aforementioned Ívar was there with them.”
Källa: AM 777 a 4to
Ivar Bardson, Det gamle Grønlands beskrivelse af Ívar Bárðarson (Ivar Bårdssön), ed. Finnur Jónsson (København, 1930).

The only Lawman linked to Ivar Bardson, Greenland and King’s commission in order to search for the missing settlers of Western Settlement, is Paul Knutson.

In 1363 Ivar Bardsson and some other men returns to Bergen where Ivar Bardsson once again are given a position by a letter from the Pope.
In June 1364 Ivar Bardson was back in Bergen. 26th 1364 according to Diplomatarium Norvegicum bind 4 No. 443 At that time the tithe for the all dioceses belonging to the Norwegian churches was submitted to the papal cardinal.

According to Vatican’s registry Ivar Bardson payed for the dioceses under Gardar, Greenland. The years the tithes was paid for was the period 1354 to 1364. Among the dioceses under Gardar two dioceses in Vinland is noted. One of them Korsnes.
The tithes for the two dioces in Vinland has not been discussed in many works since 1899. Then Marie A, Shipley published a book, Shipley, Marie A. [Brown]. The Norse Colonization in America by the Light of the Vatican Finds. Lucerne: H. Keller ‘s Foreign Printing Office, 1899.

Only a few years later the Norwegian King, son of Magnus Eriksson, sent his warfleet westward and that warfleet is noted to have ‘passed’ Greenland….

From previous chapter.

Smoking gun part 2 chapter 1
Olaus Magnus, Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus

Olaus Magnus, born in Skenninge 1490 (d. 1557). During his younger ages he grow up in Linkoping, Ostergotland, Sweden. (East of Lake Vaettern). ‘

A quick translation from the latin text you may find at Olaus Magnus De fcorteis, feu coriariiis nauibus Gruntlandiæ, Cap. IX

‘In 1505 I saw two such leaderboats above the Eastern portal in the Oslo Cathedral, sanctified to Saint Halvord, where they were fastened on the wall for everyone to look at. It’s told that King Hakon[IEJ: son of King Magnus Eriksson] acquired them, when he with an armed battle fleet passed Greenland’s coast…’

More re. King Magnus’s men sailing to Greenland
Paul Knutsson is only heard of once more and that’s three years later. Paul Knutsson owned half of a farm on Tweiten.
Ivar Bardsson on the other hand is documented several times during the next decades. There is one saying that he might have lived into his 80’s and that he died in 1400 shortly after buying a piece of land. It’s correct that there do exist a diploma dated to 1400 in which it’s confirmed that Ivar Bardsson did buy land. On the other hand it’s not possible to establish if the confirmation was given close in time of the transaction or at a later date.


One Response to Norse Vikings predated Columbus exploring North America – Smoking gun part 3

  1. […] Norse Vikings predated Columbus exploring North America – Smoking Gun part 3 […]



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